3:30pm PT by Aaron Couch
Comic-Con: 'Game of Thrones' Stars Talk Jon Snow Theories, Rape Controversy
The stars of Game of Thrones answered burning questions about the season five finale and what's next at the HBO hit's Comic-Con panel on Friday.
The HBO series wrapped its most controversial season yet in June, with season five causing an uproar over the rape of Sansa (Sophie Turner) and the burning death of a young child.
But no issue generated more fan theories and buzz than the death of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) in the season finale's last scene. In the books, Jon's death at the hands of mutineering brothers of the Night's Watch was rather ambiguous, but in the show he really did appear dead. Everyone from Harington to the showrunners have said Jon is truly gone for good, but a vocal contingent of fans are skeptical for a number of reasons.
Among the most popular theories is that Melisandre (Carice van Houten) will bring Jon back to life, and a sneaky audience member asked if Melisandre might have learned how to do such a thing.
"I'm as in the dark as you are all," said Van Houten. "But who knows man, I can't tell you anything."
Melisandre returned to the Wall after the burning death, and it appears she will be a changed woman in season six.
"She figures out she was quite wrong," said Van Houten, which is something that will have to be addressed next year.
Turner has said she was in favor of the controversial scene in which Sansa was raped by Ramsay (Iwan Rheon). Some fans criticized the scene for focusing on Theon (Alfie Allen) rather than Sansa.
"You'll have to ask the writers as to why they focused on Theon, because I was giving a great performance. And they just pan in on him," Turner joked. She added more seriously that Sansa "thought it through in her head, and she could have fought back," but she decided not to. It was part of her calculation in playing the game of thrones.
When an audience member criticized the show's violence towards women, the panelists defended Game of Thrones.
"Things were not great for a lot of people, male and female," said producer Carolyn Strauss.
Maisie Williams (Arya) is concerned about what her character going blind will mean for her working life in season six. She said the contacts required to make her blind are difficult to wear.
"I'm worried if I'm going to have to do any fighting or anything: 1) I can't see and 2) they're really uncomfortable," said Williams.
Strauss admitted that the series was getting even more secretive now that they are passing George R.R. Martin's books.
"We're in the world in the balance point. We've always tried to maintain a level of surprise for people who watch the show, but with every season it gets more and more," said Strauss.
As for Davos (Liam Cunningham), he will be quite angry next season.
Walking on stage, Cunningham pretended to strangle Van Houten — undoubtedly to take vengeance on her character for burning his beloved princess alive. Moderator Seth Meyers was happy for what Stannis' death might mean for Davos, noting he might be able to smile and lighten up a bit.
"I don't think that's going to happen, especially when he finds out what that did," Cunningham said while pointing to Van Houten.
Meyers teased Gwendoline Christie (Brienne) for failing to spot the candle when Sansa lit it — which signaled she needed help.
"I had to wait for three months!" she said in her defense.
Natalie Dormer (Margaery) was asked about schemes from her character in season six.
"Grandma ain't around to look after her anymore. The characters are in new situations where they don't know the next move."
The panel was notably lacking the three keepers of the mythology. Martin skipped for the first time since 2010 (to work on his next book), and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were also absent. Fans have speculated it might be so they could dodge questions about Jon Snow's death.
Bonus: a fun video showing Game of Thrones stars auditioning for their respective roles was also shown at the panel. Must watch.
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